I could never understand why I loved my church so much and why I felt so joined to my Pastor but not the “family” that they have there.
I always thought I was being obstinate and being judgemental and stuck up because I really wasn’t feeling any of the women there on a social level. As time went on my feelings remained the same. I knew there was something different about me. I knew I didnt fit in. But I just looked at my life and realized that there were several instances where this happened and usually it was those times when I felt like I was socially obligated, like with my sorority.
Now I absolutely adore my sorority sisters. The majority of my friends are women I met through my sorority but when I was back in it, I felt so distant from them because I didnt feel like I had chosen them as friends, I felt obligated to hang out and this irritated me. Mimi, who is also my sorority sister once told me that I like to define my relationships, meaning I like to determine how close I am to someone. Once I had outgrown my duties to my sorority, I got to know my sisters individually and by choice and it amazed me what wonderful women they were and how much we really had in common. I couldnt see that before because I was fighting against the feeling of being OBLIGATED to be friends. I began to love them and feel joined to them because of our commitment as sisters and my genuine love for who they were.
So I figured as time went on the same would happen for the ppl at my church. It didn’t. In fact I felt more and more pressure to drop my friends and make new ones at my church. Like my own friends weren’t good enough to please my Pastor. My Pastor even picked out a girl for me to be friends with. I would call her because he asked me to. I just did it out of obedience. I never grew to be interested in her at all and I felt like something was wrong with me because of that. Like I’m some kind of evil person because I wasnt interested in hanging out with her. I wanted so badly to show him that I was submissive but my heart wasn’t really in it. I ended up hurting that girls feelings one day when she came over without calling me and I didnt even answer the door.
I’m sitting here trying to sort out the feelings in my heart because sometimes I wonder if I am making excuses not to take the hard road and stay up here in Gainesville. I just want to be right by God. But then I think of how being here makes me feel. Well, how being in my church makes me feel. The word is sooo good, it’s GREAT! But I feel like I dont have control over my own life. I feel like I’m constantly trying to prove myself to my Pastors and that they are never pleased with me.
I feel like I am being asked to choose them over my own friends and family. Like there is not enough room for both sets of people. Being told that I’m “fresh off the altar” over and over again and treated like I can’t do anything by myself doesnt help. As much as I have to offer, I guess my Pastors don’t think I’m worthy to even serve in the church. All I wanted to do was get involved and feel like I have a place, like I have some value.
It’s very easy for me to walk away from my church because I’m not walking away from any responsibilities. I’m not walking away from any friends. I’m not walking away from anything except the best word and wisdom I’ve ever heard in my life and a feeling of extreme bondage and never being quite right for the crowd.
It’s sad but I was sitting here this whole time thinking that my destiny was tied to this church and my Pastor. That if I tried hard and did everything he said eventually he would be satisfied with me and say that I’m worthy to serve in his ministry. I was waiting on him to tell me what I needed to do to jumpstart my career. I felt like by maybe one day helping to make his vision come to pass, I would achieve my vision for my life.
I know my Pastor loves me. He has to or else he wouldnt have put so much time into talking to me and ministering to me. I just wish he would have shown it a little more by acknowledging my growth. Everytime I got a call from him I was afraid because Pastors don’t call you for anything good. I just knew I had messed up and he was about to correct me.
I came to feel like my Pastor was there only to correct me. I even asked him one time if he was there to challenge me and he said that when God is shaping his child, once he gets one part right He doesnt sit there and admire that part all day, He moves onto the next rough part and that is what he was doing with me. But once, just once, i would have liked to hear, “Good job.”
My covenant group leaders would tell me that my Pastor loved me so much and I was shocked. He never showed that side to me and I couldnt imagine what he could be saying about me that was good. He only took time out to guide me and correct me, never celebrating me.
Again, I associated criticism and guidance with love. That’s how it has always been with me and men. Those who say they love me the most somehow assume the role of shaping me into who they think I should be. I try to sit and be that clay, loosen myself to their touch, but I never come out right and they never quit working on me.
I dont blame my Pastor or my church for what happened. I just thank God for waking me up before I got worse. I was totally looking to my Pastors for affirmation, which I never got and it made me feel very unsuccessful. I felt like they were the drivers in my destiny and I could not accomplish anything until they thought I was ready.
That hurts me. Am I to constantly sit and fret over what they are thinking of me? Am I to constantly wonder when my Pastor would think I was worthy enough to serve in his ministry or when he would direct me to become the writer and leader that I know I am?
I know this all sounds crazy but for the past two years this is the life I have lived at my church. A life of fear of not being good enough for them. A life of self condemnation because I could not feel joined to the people at my church. A life of self doubt, thinking that I must not be as talented as I think I am or else my Pastor would want me to serve. I havent made any progress in my Pastors eyes because if its not one thing, it’s something else I need to work on.
I felt like a loser the whole time. Like everyone else is “getting it” but I’m not and something must be wrong with me. My head is so messed up right now. I never thought I would feel like this.
Well, one thing I have just learned. Since Holy Spirit resides in me, my feelings of not being joined and not feeling comfortable shouldnt automatically be branded as THE ENEMY. It very well could be God making His move and pushing me out of this situation and into the place where He wants me to grow.
I’m still learning and I pray to God that He will help me to move on.